Comic Legends: Was the Original Cover of Wolverine's Debut Edited?

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and seventy-ninth week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

As always, there will be three different posts for each legend this week!

NOTE: I noticed that the the CSBG Twitter page was nearing 10,000 followers. If we hit 10,050 followers on the the CSBG Twitter page then I'll do a BONUS edition of Comic Book Legends Revealed during the week that we hit 10,050. So three more legends! Sounds like a great deal, right?


The original cover to Incredible Hulk #181 was altered before it was released.



It is funny how, when certain comic book issues or covers become iconic, they sort of become precious to us, while at the time that the covers were actually released, they were anything but to the people making the comics. That isn't to say that the comic book publishers didn't appreciate these characters and comics. Of course they did. It was just that this was just part of their regular gig. Stan Lee would order covers altered all the time. If you pick any ten covers of Amazing Spider-Man from the 1970s, I will bet you that at least a third of them have had some sort of alteration done to them, most often by Marvel's longtime Art Director, John Romita.

It is only after the fact, when the comic book covers then become famous that it becomes a case of, "Wait, what the heck? THAT'S not the right cover for the first appearance of Wolverine!"

On the cover by Herb Trimpe for Incredible Hulk #181, the first full appearance of Wolverine, here is the cover as it was printed. This is the famous cover...

However, this is not the original version of this cover.

No sir. You see, the Hulk figure on the cover was re-drawn by John Romita to make it so that Wolverine's claws are not coming quite as close to Hulk's head as they were on the original version of the cover.

Luckily for us, from a historical perspective, the original version of Marvel covers were quite often used for when the covers were reprinted, like on overseas publications, so when this story made its way over to England a few years later, in the pages of Mighty World of Marvel #198, it was the original Herb Trimpe cover on the book...

As you can see, it appears as though Wolverine has basically hit the Hulk and sending him sort of reeling, while Romita's cover makes it so that the Hulk is fully into the fight.

I don't think either cover is necessarily better than the other one, and I'll be frank, it's not some huge change, but it is a noticeable enough change that it's a fun thing to learn about such a famous comic book cover!

Check out some entertainment legends from Legends Revealed:

Check back Saturday for part 2 of this week's legends!

And remember, if you have a legend that you're curious about, drop me a line at either brianc@cbr.com or cronb01@aol.com!

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